Philippe Coutinho could be making a premier move…
The 29-year-old Brazilian soccer player is open to leaving FC Barcelona this month and five Premier League clubs, including Aston Villa, have expressed an interest in signing him on loan, according to ESPN sources.
Coutinho’s agent Kia Joorabchian is working in collaboration with Barca to find a new home for the Brazil international, who wants to play regular football before the World Cup in Qatar later this year.
Multiple sources have confirmed that Villa, coached by Coutinho’s former Liverpool teammate Steven Gerrard, are one of the clubs interested in signing the attacking midfielder.
A source close to Coutinho’s camp added that talks with all interested parties are still at a very early stage and that “no [club] is being ruled out at this stage.”
“It’s all to do with the football project more than anything else,” the source added.
Another source revealed that Everton are one of the clubs who have held talks over a deal for Coutinho, who spent five years at their Merseyside rivals Liverpool before joining Barca for a club record €160 million fee in 2018.
However, there is an internal debate at Goodison Park, with owner Farhad Moshiri keen on doing a deal for Coutinho, while coach Rafa Benitez is not yet on board.
Coutinho became Barca’s club-record signing four years ago but has struggled to make a mark at Camp Nou. He was given a second chance under Ronald Koeman following a loan spell with Bayern Munich but has once again fallen down the pecking order under new coach Xavi Hernandez.
Barca are ready to facilitate a loan deal as they need to move players on to register new signing Ferran Torres and any other potential January arrivals and Coutinho, as the club’s biggest earner, is one player they’re seeking a new home for.
Coutinho himself has previously been reluctant to leave but with the World Cup around the corner he wants to ensure he does not miss out on the Brazil squad for the finals in Qatar.